Where in the hell am I?

April 2, 2010

Another fine day

Filed under: archaeology, archeology, survey, Texas, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — John @ 8:19 pm

digging ST

Originally uploaded by texasrobo

We were concerned that we might get rained out today. We have to drive several miles of dirt roads into (and around) the project area, and rains might have made them impassable. However, the projected overnight storms never materialized, and the rains were pretty limited. The drive in was a little slippery, but we made it out there.
The sun was out, but it was a little cooler than the last few days. The ground was never too wet, and the mud dried out quickly. It was definitely a great day for surveying.
Once again, we didn’t find anything. Highlights were seeing three deer, a coyote, and a bunny. Also heard a lot of wild turkeys. When everyone got back together, we all mentioned having heard a lot of turkeys.
This was apparently not a coincidence. It turns out that this weekend is the start of the spring turkey hunting season in the area. It also so happens that there is a huge hunting camp in the center of our project area, which one of the transect lines passed today. It ALSO so happens that they’ll be spending the next few days hunting turkeys along the creeks in the center and eastern section of the project area, which is where we have left to survey.
We’re used to dealing with hunting season, since deer season is so huge here in Texas (well, a lot of places really). During deer season, survey slows down, you rarely do weekend work, and some properties will restrict the hours you can survey, or just deny access altogether.
With deer season, the hunting is pretty much limited to the preset hunting lanes, with the deer blind on one end and the deer feeder (or what we call deer cheaters) on the other. While stray bullets are certainly a concern, you’re generally pretty safe as long as you avoid those lanes, because the hunter has the scope and rifle pointed at that feeder, waiting for the shot.
Turkeys are a much different story. You hunt them with shotguns and birdshot, rather than rifles and bullets. You don’t sit on a deer lane, but walk around waiting to flush them out of the bushes. When you hear something come out of the bushes, you pretty much swing and shoot. From our perspective, this is a very dangerous scenario, since we’ll be creeping through the brush. Even wearing orange, there’s still a very real possibility of getting shot accidentally.
So my field director and our cultural resources program director (who I usually refer to as the big boss) talked it over, and decided to head back until the season is over. It was the client’s responsibility to know this and plan for or around it. So I guess we’ll be back here to finish the eastern half in 6 weeks.
Oh, my transect ended by the historic cattle dipping vat I mentioned yesterday. Click here, here, and here for photos, or just check out the Flickr stream for all of today’s (lack of) action.



  1. Nice to see another surveyor braving the perils of hunting season! Here in Oregon when we do summer habitat assessments there is always a scramble to get the surveys done before deer hunting season begins.

    Comment by Lindsay Mico — April 7, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

    • This is the first time I’ve ever encountered turkey season. We’ve had plenty of surveys delayed or slowed by deer season (November-January here). I think the reason it’s been more of an issue is we’ve been working more on weekends, when most of the action is.

      Comment by John — April 7, 2010 @ 6:44 pm

  2. Isn’t it always the way of the industrious?

    Comment by Lindsay Mico — April 7, 2010 @ 7:25 pm

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